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Thread: when can husband step in more?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    71

    Default when can husband step in more?

    Prior to the birth of my child, I think my most mistaken assumption was how my husband and I would be able to share child care with a newborn. Not 50-50, but perhaps closer to 65-35. I imagined that when DH came home from work, I could hand over the babe for long chunks of time. And that I could slip away to a work function if only I left enough EBM.

    Well! Then there's what really happens. DH can take 2.5 mo DS for about half an hour or 45 min per day and we can still safely assume DS will stay happy. But I have to stay close by in case he starts fussing.

    And I can slip away for a couple of hours, knowing that either things will be pretty OK or that DS will spend 1.5 hours crying and that when I get home I'll see that DH has pulled out each fun and/or soothing toy in an effort to stop the tears. (Guess which was the case last night.)

    So! Here are my questions:

    1--Does this sound familiar?

    2--Do you have any suggestions to make mommy-away time easier? (DH tried serving the EBM at slightly different temps. DS last night was not interested in the bottle, though he has successfully taken it in the past and although he was hungry.)

    3--Was your child like this and then things got better? What age did that happen?

    4--What do you say when DH says (jokingly, half-serious, frustrated or feeling sad), "The baby just doesn't like me."?

    My theory is that sooner or later, DS won't want to always be in the arms of the one with the lactating breasts. I just hope that time is before he starts crawling. DH has already done more cooking, cleaning, etc, so that I'm free for DS. But I never thought I'd see the day when scrubbing the tub would be a refreshing change of pace...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    929

    Default Re: when can husband step in more?

    Quote Originally Posted by St Louis Mom View Post
    So! Here are my questions:

    1--Does this sound familiar?
    Yes, very familiar! My DS is 6.5 months old and I am still putting in about 80% of the childcare (and I work, too). And, it's not b/c DH doesn't try to step in often. DS just wants mommy ALL the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by St Louis Mom View Post
    2--Do you have any suggestions to make mommy-away time easier? (DH tried serving the EBM at slightly different temps. DS last night was not interested in the bottle, though he has successfully taken it in the past and although he was hungry.)
    When I went back to work it took about 2 wks for DS to start taking the bottle from DH consistently. Just keep trying. I don't have a lot of suggestions here....


    Quote Originally Posted by St Louis Mom View Post
    4--What do you say when DH says (jokingly, half-serious, frustrated or feeling sad), "The baby just doesn't like me."?
    This is a hard one. DH has said the same thing to me. I keep assuring him that there will be times in the future when Daddy will be DS's whole world and I'll be jealous. Babies love their mommies. They were inside of us for 9 (10) months and are not ready to let go. Your LO doesn't dislike your DH - he just prefers mom right now.


    Sorry, not a lot of help. Just wanted to let you know we are going through the same thing!

    Jennifer
    Amazed and Proud mom of Luke (Lucas) - 4/5/2006; 9 lbs 12 oz , 22in
    Wife to best friend Carl - 11/4/2001

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    181

    Default Re: when can husband step in more?

    Went thru/ going thru the same here. DD was stuck to me like glue for the first 3 months. She refused the efforts of anyone else, and it really started to bug both me and DH-he also said that she didn't like him!!! But, it has now become easier. I haven't left her for more than an hour or so with him-just no need really. But, it was really difficult at first-stressful for both of us- I couldn't leave, and he couldn't stand to stay!!! My daughter is now almost 8 months, and is now really starting to enjoy her dad.

    I honestly have no advice-just wanted you to know that there are a lot of us in the same situation.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: when can husband step in more?

    When my son got clingy at that age, I started leaving him with Daddy and going into another room each evening. When he was hungry, I'd go in and nurse him and then go back to my own space. It only took about a week for my son to be comfortable enough with Daddy that I could leave miss a feeding.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    1,712

    Default Re: when can husband step in more?

    My DD is 6 months. I think your situation sounds familiar and normal to all of us. DD does prefer me, but she is coming around with other people. Her Daddy sings, even before birth. When DH walks and sings with her, she is in heaven. I think your DH is probably somewhat nervous about not having the ultimate comfort tool to offer. When my DH stopped saying, " She wants the boob." and I stopped picking her up after every little fuss, she started to be able to hang out longer with other people in general.

    As far as the bottle goes, my DD stopped taking it around 3.5 months and then started back about a month ago when she started taking interest in our foods and drinks. I think she realized what the bottle was. Just keep offering it and one day he will suprise you. We tried every bottle, every trick mentioned. Nothing worked. In the meantime, your DS can be spoon fed breastmilk or you could use a dropper. I know it sounds crazy, but it works. Your DS is a little young for the spoon, so you might want to use a dropper. It will take the edge off. Also some babies get used to mom being gone, and don't eat while they are away. Then when you come home, they make up for it.

    Poor Guy! and poor Mama! We take those things so personal when our DH's say "S/he hates me." and if you are like me, I thought it meant he wanted me to stop breastfeeding. I am so glad DH and I can talk. He was joking and he was sad, but I think he knows differently. I just say, "Oh, you know the baby loves her Daddy." And I tell him, it's easy for you to think I have it great, but she really only likes me more for my breasts, that won't last. If he's willing, I am sure there are books for Dad's that discuss this kind of topic.
    Really though things are getting and have been getting much easier lately. I think that's breast and formula fed as well. I remember thinking I wasn't really adjusted until 6 months with my son and he was formula fed after 2 weeks.
    Best wishes.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: when can husband step in more?

    We never really had trouble with trading off with care during the day. It did take a little while for her to get used to the bottle when I went back to work at around 3 months (he did a lot of the childcare...working PT) but she picked it up with some practice. The issue we did have (and still have) is night time. 99% of the time, only mommy will do at night. Daddy has tried to go in and calm her/comfort her but it usually won't work. Sigh...mama(and the boob) to the rescue.

    My only advice is to hang in there. As your LO gets older, he WILL become more interactive and figure out how to bond with others in his environment. He still takes a lot of comfort in mama (and nursing).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    8,272

    Default Re: when can husband step in more?

    Maybe have your husband try wearing the baby in a sling or other carrier? My husband loves to carry our 3 m.o. son in either a ring sling or Baby Bjorn. When we go for a walk I get stuck with the diaper bag, unless DS needs to nurse Since DS pretty much always settles right down and goes to sleep in either carrier, and daddy is associated with the carrier, I think our son actually does a much better job of calming down / sleeping for dady than for me.

    Good luck!
    Lynn

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: when can husband step in more?

    Oh, I do feel for you...as I had those same thoughts before giving birth. Little did I know! In our case, it's about 75-25 but slowly getting better. He works all day, and comes home after 6. Most of the time DS wants to eat right around the time for me to make dinner, so DH does alot of the cooking. Then we eat, play with DS for a little bit and before you know it, it's time for the three B's...bath, boob and bed for DS.

    My DS is 15 wks and will take EBM for me and for my Mom. And he will sometimes do quite a bit of fussing with it (never mind how long he takes to drink from it when he is fussing!). But when DH feeds him, he has always had a fit, fussing, crying and just letting DH know just how unhappy he really is. I'm honestly not sure if it's because DH is feeding him, or because it's just not Mommy. Still not able to figure that one out. I take a dance class Mon nights and am gone for about 2 1/2 hrs and most of the time DS gets hungry while Mommy is gone. It's been three wks, and DH did tell me that feeding was getting a tiny bit better this past Mon.

    As for DH saying "he/she doesn't like me"...he has not said that. But I can tell sometimes by the look on his face that it does bother him. Esp. when I take DS and he immed. stops crying/fussing. I just believe it's because we are the primary caregivers and DS feels comfy and safe with us. We have learned, by trial and error, "what works and what doesn't". I don't think it's just because we have the breasts.

    Hope this helps

  9. #9

    Default Re: when can husband step in more?

    I'm so relieved - my husband also claims that my baby doesn't like him - and for a while would only pick him up when I would chastise him... between the colic and reflux, for a couple of months he was either sleeping, crying or nursing and I felt like he was entirely mine. I felt horrible - like my husband wasn't doing enough as a dad to help me or to get to know his son, and also like I was somehow making the situation worse by nursing becuase it was the only way to make him happy and that excluded daddy from the picture. But it's been getting so much better, I think the combination of the zantac and the fact that he's outgrown the colic has made for a much happier baby. My husband is a lot more involved now - but I'd say that he's a much more involved parent with our three year old.

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